Paul Burstow MP responds… On the Carer’s Bonus

Care in the home Some rights reserved by British Red CrossMy post last week on the Carer’s Bonus generated a lot of feedback. Thank you.

A few quick responses. The £250 payment would be available to around a million people based on underlying entitlement to the benefit. So, for example, pensioners who are eligible for Carers allowance but because of overlapping benefit rules do not receive it would receive the Bonus.

It will start at £125 and increase year on year to £250 no later than 2020.

With regards to young carers the first thing to say is that the Children and Families Act gives them new rights. Most critical is that their right to a childhood is protected and a whole family approach is taken to assessing need for support.

The proposal builds on measures we have taken in Government like investing £400mn in NHS funded respite breaks, or new rights for Carers in the Care Act, flexible working.

The Bonus is more like a direct payment to contribute to things like respite care. It is not intended to be an answer to all the financial challenges faced by Carers. The Bonus is part of a package of measures which Liberal Democrats have developed in the Ageing Society Working Group, which I chair.

* Paul Burstow is Liberal Democrat candidate for Sutton and Cheam and was the MP until the dissolution of Parliament on 30th March.

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2 Comments

  • “The £250 payment would be available to around a million people based on underlying entitlement to the benefit. So, for example, pensioners who are eligible for Carers allowance but because of overlapping benefit rules do not receive it would receive the Bonus.”

    Thank you for clarifying this. As you probably know, it was reported in the press at the time of the announcement that the payment would be made only to those who had been receiving Carers’ Allowance for at least a year.

  • Matt (Bristol) 7th Jul '14 - 10:25pm

    Paul, thankyou for responding.
    As you say the Bonus would work ‘like a direct payment’, what safeguards could be put in place to ensure local NHS bodies and local authorities who administer existing carer’s grant and carer’s direct payment funding would not seek to milk CB as an alternative to spending their own carer budgets, for eg directing eligible individuals towards the central government-funded benefit before considering eligibility for respite or other carer’s break – type services under a carer’s assessment?

    I would also be keen that in publicising the possibility that CB is used for ‘respite’ as you say, this is not promoted or reported as being a ‘right’ for a carer to have their cared-for person placed in a residential or nursing respite placement; often people do not want to have to go into a placement, and should not be forced to, even to make their care from their partner, friend or relative more sustainable; there are often alternatives that can be found in the home setting.

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